Manning Makes Stuff - Halloween decorations, paper mache masks, costumes, party ideas, and more

Manning Makes Stuff - Halloween decorations, paper mache masks, costumes, party ideas, and more

Cabaret de L’Enfer Halloween party


Published by Manning on July 15th, 2015

The theme for my Halloween party in 2012 was the Cabaret de L’Enfer — a real Hell-themed café in the red light district of Paris in the 19th century. You can read all about it and see some amazing pics of it on my Paris website, Cool Stuff in Paris. Of course our color scheme was red/orange/yellow, and the centerpiece for the party would be the iconic devil mouth doorway that graced the entrance of the Cabaret. But first, here’s the animated invitation I made for the party. (It has audio, and it’s made with Flash so it won’t work on your iPhone/iPad.)

Cabaret de L'Enfer Halloween party invitation

Here are some of the decoration projects we undertook:

Devil mouth doorway — This thing was huge! Rather than put it over our small front door, I opted to have it span over the double doors of our balcony. I have a whole article about how I made the thing, here.

Light-up “L’Enfer” sign — This was fun! This pic is of the sign sitting in my apartment, but for the party it hung on our balcony outside. I wrote an article about how I made this one too; it’s here.

Cave walls in Hell — We covered all the walls of the living room and dining room with craft paper and decorated it to look like cave walls, stalactites, and fire. I have an article about that here.

Lighting — I replaced all the bulbs in the apartment with fluorescent party bulbs, in red, orange, and yellow. I also set up my trusty American Dj H2O Led Water Effect Light. This thing projects a rippling water effect on the walls/ceiling, and you can set it to whatever color you want. Of course, I set it to red/orange, and projected it onto the ceiling to look like churning lava. It really looked great!

Other odds and ends — I made tons of bats out of poster board and hung them from the ceiling with fishing line. I Photoshopped and printed some old-timey cabaret posters and French booze posters and put them in the picture frames on our living room wall. I bought some extremely cheap, flimsy red curtains and slashed them up and put them in all the windows and glass doors. (You can see masking tape on one of the windows in the pic below; I took this pic a couple days after the party, just before Hurricane Sandy!)

Costumes — I don’t have a very good pic of my costume from this year, sadly! I was an old-timey devil with big horns sticking out of a top hat, with a fake nose and a curly mustache. I actually drew pinstripes on a black suit with a grease pencil; I wanted the pinstripes to look rough and uneven and it really worked! I wish I had a close up; here’s the only pic I’ve got:

Old-timey devil costume

I also had a secondary costume for the actual night of Halloween: my good ol’ skeleton suit from all my Mardi Gras costumes, with some simple skull makeup and my devil top hat with the horns removed.

It was so cool to do a party that brought my two favorite things together: Halloween and Paris! This was one of my favorites of all time.

Happy haunting!

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